Alty News: NSA for Rent and More Unrest in Ferguson | Buzz Blog

Friday, September 26, 2014

Alty News: NSA for Rent and More Unrest in Ferguson

Posted By on September 26, 2014, 1:55 PM

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The NSA makes money on the side by renting its surveillance technology to U.S. companies.

Top of the Alty World

“The NSA is renting its technology to U.S. companies”—Daily Dot

UPDATE: A recent Alty News blog featured a ProPublica article about Stanford and Google research money. Stanford has clarified the article to explain that it never promised not to use Google money for privacy research—Mashable

WikiHouse is a project that aims to let people print off plans to build a house that snaps together.—GizModo

Unrest reemerges in Ferguson after the town's police chief attempted to join demonstrators in a march.—Rolling Stone

Female fire fighters are threatening to sue the Forest Service—and not for the first time.—High Country News

Top of Alty Utah

Luz Robles and Chris Stewart sparred politely over immigration, common core, ISIL and more at the 2nd Congressional District Debate.—Salt Lake City Weekly

The return on the Utah Fund of Funds venture capital program was overstated according to an audit.—Utah Political Capitol

U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby who ruled Utah's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional told Utah State University students that personal beliefs don't play a role in the judicial process.—Q Salt Lake

The director of the Moab Pride festival hopes to make the event a destination festival.—Salt Lake City Weekly


Daniel Burton delves into the debate over limiting campaign donations to candidates and admits that many leaders in office used wealth to get there but that doesn't justify limiting the giving of money to candidates as an act of free speech.

“Jefferson, Madison, the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, and the Bushes; all were wealthy individuals, and not due to their time in office, but they used that wealth to get there. Sometimes they did well; other times, not so much. Guys like Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman, men pulled up by their own boot straps to lead the country, are decidedly in the minority of American politics.

Does that mean it’s a bad thing? No, just a mixed bag. If we want more people without means to be engaged in the process, we’ve got to start teaching civics at a younger age, and we’ve got to ennoble it. That said, the NFL will always be more entertaining than a city council meeting.”—Utah Politico Hub

The Long View

Speaking of money and politics, Rolling Stone looks at the billionaire Koch Brothers known for their massive campaign donations and looks at their “toxic empire” and how they attained their wealth.

“Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch's pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers.

The volume of Koch Industries' toxic output is staggering. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute, only three companies rank among the top 30 polluters of America's air, water and climate: ExxonMobil, American Electric Power and Koch Industries. Thanks in part to its 2005 purchase of paper-mill giant Georgia-Pacific, Koch Industries dumps more pollutants into the nation's waterways than General Electric and International Paper combined. The company ranks 13th in the nation for toxic air pollution. Koch's climate pollution, meanwhile, outpaces oil giants including Valero, Chevron and Shell. Across its businesses, Koch generates 24 million metric tons of greenhouse gases a year.”—Rolling Stone

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